Friday, August 24, 2007


We had Boys' mom and her neighbors of 50 years over for lunch the other day because they (her neighbors) were SO curious about our house after hearing her talk about ever since way back when. They're an older couple, in their 80's, but both look and act not a day over 55 which I think is just super cool, and they're both interesting and fun so I was glad to have them even if it did mean a pile of old people piling out of a Buick in my driveway ;)

The he part of the partnership is a big gardener (perhaps partly responsible for his youthfulness) and thus gifted me with a bag of tomatoes, a couple of cucumbers and the homegrown grapes you see above. Now, I can't remember if I've ever tasted a grape that wasn't a product of mass agriculture and global transit, and if I have I was young enough that I can't remember. And I'm sure I've never tasted a Minnesota grown grape, so when he walked in with this whole bowl full my eyes practically popped out of my head. I grabbed one and popped it into my mouth before he could even put down the bowl, and the fantastically intense, perfectly sweet-tart little thing was the most unique flavor I think I've tasted all year. They're like the most grapey grape tasting thing you'll ever try. I think I said "OHHH!! They taste exactly like grape!!", and they laughed at me because they both said they'd grown up eating grapes just like these, back when grapes were still grapes and locally grown was the only produce you got.

They're like bottled grape juice or grape flavored candy you ate as a kid, only a bajillion times better and grapey and juicy. How is it that I've lived this long without knowing this is what grapes are supposed to taste like? That's frightening, really, because it makes me wonder what else I think I know the flavor of have really never even tried.

The only caveat is that they have seeds, which are either a delightful little textural contrast or hard on the teeth, depending on your perspective :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Secret Lover

There really aren't words to adequately express my love for Zappos. The place is my clandestine midnight lover.
I think they have gotten like 90% of my shoe money along with a lot of other money that should have been spent more responsibly, for like the last three years. Most recently, meaning today, this new pair of Keen's arrived to replace my almost-worn-through-the-bottoms Keen Antiguas:

What I really wanted was another pair of Antiguas, but they appear to be discontinued and they didn't have my size left in stock.
So I had to settle for these, which are the Waimea, and I don't know why I worried, because they, like the other seven pairs of Keens that I have, they are COMPLETELY awesome and instantly the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. And the best part is, I ordered them YESTERDAY AFTERNOON and they were on my doorstep by 2pm today!! That has got to be the closest one can get to instant gratification when it comes to shopping online, and as far as I am concerned, all other internet shoe places can just go right away, because Zappos carries absolutely every shoe in the world. Or almost. And short of giving away their stuff for free, they just couldn't get any better. But I am a little worried about not being able to get Keen flip flops anymore, since it looks like they're only making one or two styles now...
It looks like they're running a free overnight shipping on all their stuff right now, so I guess that explains the one day thing, but even without that special, I always get any Zappos order in like two seconds flat which is just another reason to love them.

On another note. I had to go to the DMV today to renew my drivers license (always an excellent adventure, but at least I don't have to worry about how my thighs will look in that picture), and you just would not believe the number of people (adults) there waiting to take their drivers test.
I mean RETAKE.
Which implies they all lost their licenses at some point in the probably not too distant past. But the number of people there today, and I assume, every day, for the purpose of re-acquiring a drivers license, was completely shocking. Boo for drunk drivers! The lame ass part is I see at least one blatantly drunk person on the roads around here every week. It makes me a little psycho.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wanna Hear My Shelf Groan?

I think I have MOOPockets coming out of my ears. To say that I've been swamped would be an understatement and I've been working like mad, chained to the sewing machine trying to keep my head above water. Hence the no bloggie thing. But yes, in case you were wondering, I'm still wild with excitement over the whole upcoming NYT thing. Who ME? In the NYT? Bwaaaaahhaaaaaa!!

Back to sewing, since that's all I seem to be doing lately.
I continue to be amazed at what's happened with the whole MOOPocket thing, really, and to tell you the truth if I had had any idea this is what I'd be signing up for when I invented them, I may have reconsidered. I've been saying since the get-go that next time I invent something, I'm going to make sure it's easier and less time consuming to produce. But hey...I believe life has a way of leading you where you're supposed to go, so for better or worse, and crooked neck be darned, I'm along for the ride for as long as it lasts. Stay tuned for some extremely exciting developments on that front....
And a big thanks to Popgadget and swissmiss for linking me last week and thanks so much to everyone who has helped turn the MOOPocket into a cult obsession!

As I've said before, one of the fun things about being the MOOPocket girl is that it's given me cause to go out and buy fabric to my hearts' content, and buy fabric I have. I don't think there's a week that passes that I don't make at least one pass through all my favorite (and my most hated...and that means you, JoAnn...don't even get me started on how much I despise that place) fabric shops. My stash shelf is groaning under the weight of all the patterny deliciousness!
Here's a few that I've acquired in the last week or two:

Holy cow. That multi-colored tiny rectangle print? I completely wanna lick it. But don't worry, I won't lick the part I make your MOOPocket out of.

If you're one of those readers who have asked where I like to go for fabrics, the answer is everywhere I can. Unfortunately, we have a dearth of good old fabric stores around here. You know, the kind of fabric stores that were all about fabrics and sewing stuff and not the latest ugly chachke, plastic dinnerware and overpriced garden ornaments made in China? Those seem not to exist here anymore and it makes me sad. So, I get lots and lots of stuff online....Reprodepot, Contemporary Cloth, Fabric Depot, and Z&S Fabrics, to name a few. Several of the above prints came from Z&S and I have to say I think they're well on their way to becoming my favorite shop. Great, fast service and lovely packaging, plus they were/are having a great sale, although checking back now, it looks like a lot of what I got last week is gone.

Enough rambling, huh? I've gotta get back to the studio!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If I Were Into Chicks

This is Allen and Scott.
They are real photographers.
As in the kind of real photographers that get paid to take important pictures for important publications.
Important publications, like say,
for instance,
The New York Times.

In case you are wondering.
Allen and Scott didn't come over today to hang out in my bathtub together and make funny gestures.
They came to my house to take pictures of my bathroom, they being photographers and all.
And my bathroom, which you may notice, is in much more of a finished state than the last time I showed it to you.
More of a finished state than it was last week at this time, actually.
There is a very important reason for this which I am getting to.

Like I was saying.

Allen and Scott happen to have come here to Casa Splatgirl today to take pictures of my bathroom, because it just so happens that a certain important publication that I happen to read every single day without fail is going to be running an article about a certain something I happen to know a bit about.

Just a little.


It just so happens that this certain important publication just happens to be the previously mentioned




That's right, friends.
Casa Splatgirls' now almost completely finished guest bath, moi, and perhaps PupCake if we get very, very lucky, are going to have our picture in the New York Times.
With an article that is at least partly about us and our IKEA locker cabinet-cum-vanity.

I hope my thighs don't look too fat.

Can you even freakin' BELIEVE it?

It's due to run September 6th.
Forgive me in advance if I talk about nothing else until then.
Because I'm pretty freakin' excited.

But I hope my thighs don't look too fat. I requested they use the Posh Spice lens, but I'm not sure they heard.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Time Out for Something BIG

I am still here.

I have no pictures of interesting things to show you, but I have an excellent, excellent excuse which I hope you will be as excited about as I am.

Things have gone and gotten COMPLETELY WHACK around here, but don't worry. It's all good.

So far, that is.

I'm going to keep you in suspense for another few days, but in the mean time, I was tagged by Vanessa at What Geeks Eat for what I guess we can call an "about me" meme:

4 jobs I’ve had:

Counter person at a real, old fashioned bakery where they made everything by hand. I had to wear a hairnet and it was very challenging to get it to fit over my hot pink mohawk.

Account Sales Rep for a sportswear wholesaler. Owner had a little bit of an alcohol problem. He once crashed and rolled his wife's new Mercedes sedan into a ditch with both their kids in the car. Drunk.

Registered Nurse, cardiac critical care.

General Contractor and Chief Domestic Engineer. Cuz sometimes you've just got to do it yourself.

4 places I’ve lived:

Carpinteria, CA

SanFrancisco, CA

Brattleboro, VT

Minneapolis, MN

4 places I’ve vacationed:

Negril, Jamaica


Washington, DC


4 of my favorite foods:

Cookies. Almost any kind as long as they're chewy and good quality.

Banana Cream Pie. My homemade. Best EVER.

Japanese noodles of any variety. Or maybe just Japanese food.

Salad with lots of stuff in it.

4 places I’d like to visit:

Prague, for the architecture

The Julia Child Smithsonian exhibit in DC



And the best part, I tag Carrie and Ruth!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Cool Completely Before Filling

First of all, a big thanks to Mighty Goods for featuring the MOOPocket on their site today, and go check out my Etsy shop for a whole crop of new fabrics!

So the weather has finally chilled out a bit and made baking seem a little more in the category of an appropriate activity for a sane person. You'll recall that Casa Splatgirl remains an AC free zone for what seem like completely ridiculous reasons when it's 95 and humid for weeks on end but that is a completely different story. Anyway, you'll also recall I mentioned the arrival of a "cookbook" I received as a gift for renewing my subscription to Bon Appetit magazine. And I hesitate to call it a cookbook just because it's really just a pamphlet. But, despite the somewhat underwhelmingness of this free gift, particularly in comparison to the previously mentioned free apron, there were a few recipes that happened to catch my eye. One of these, Banana Cake with Caramel Cream and Pecans, just wouldn't get out of my head, and I decided I had to make it despite the insane Barefoot Contessa-like amount of cream it calls for.

So bake Banana Cake I did, but I got kind of a late start on the recipe which put me into a bit of a rush which meant I didn't let the caramel cream chill as much as I should have which meant the whole cake got a little bit wonky and unpleasant looking (not that it would have been pretty, anyway). And Boy, who was so patiently waiting for his promised slice of banana cake for most of the evening finally gave up on waiting for it about 9pm and made a bowl of popcorn, which meant we ended up eating the damn cake for breakfast the next morning.


And no, we didn't finish these crazy huge slices!

Turns out it's more the kind of cake that you really only need the tiniest sliver of to be happy with, but a big piece looks so much more enticing in pictures, doncha think?

It was OK overall, and probably not worth the effort. Like I said, it's not very pretty which is important to me when it comes to the high-effort dessert category. And the cake part is kind of eh, the whole thing is too sweet for my tastes and I was hoping for more banana flavor. The caramel cream by itself was AMAZING. Imagine bananas foster flavored whipped cream, and that'd be about it, and I can completely see using it as a filling for other things. And the salted nuts add do a fantastic contrast, particularly if you are one of those peeps who craves the salt element. So it's not like the recipe is that horribly conceived but more that it just didn't do it for me. But honestly, If I had thought to look this up on the epicurious website and read the reviews before I decided I was going to make it, I might not have, because they're not great. And I thought of aborting and choosing a different banana cake recipe after I checked, but I was so annoyed at all the reviewers who completely DO NOT FOLLOW THE RECIPE and then complain about how bad it turns out (a chronically annoying thing about, and if you are one of those people who don't follow the recipe AT ALL, STOP POSTING REVIEWS..please!), that I had to try it if only to prove them wrong. They were mostly right, but I still think that the majority of the bad review were completely due to the fact that peeps don't follow directions.
So, if you're hungry for a piece of good but not great banana cake, please feel free to stop by!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sucked in By Free Stuff

A while back I got an offer in the mail to subscribe to Everyday Food. Now, I can say that I have occasionally looked at this magazine at the store, but it's not one that I've ever bought or thought I cared to subscribe to. The photography is gorgeous, yes, but it seems like every time I've looked, the recipes seem to be for the kinds of things that are simple to the point that I would never think I need a recipe for them in the first place. Inspiration, yes, but worthy of being granted a hang-around spot in my house, no.
Really, it's not so much about paying for a magazine I don't particularly love as it is being faced with the dilemma of having to figure out what to do with them when I'm finished. For whatever reason, I have a really hard time tossing or otherwise getting rid of cooking magazines.
Anyway, this subscription offer happened to include a free gift, and that was where I got suckered and where all my resolve and discipline in the not-acquiring-stuff department went right out the window.
Meet my new, FREE apron:

It wasn't even that I needed an apron.
I have two perfectly good and functional aprons already which is about one more than I need, but this one was just so dang cute and colorful and stripey that I just couldn't resist. Plus, it totally matches my kitchen.

So, congrats to you, Everyday Food, for the great marketing. Your magazine may not rock my world, but I guess that doesn't matter when you tease me with irresistible textiles. And for the record, the apron is miles niftier than the free party food "cookbook" that I got for renewing my Bon Appetit subscription.
Good thing I adore Bon Appetit.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New from MOO

Somehow I got in good with the peeps over at MOO, and as if it wasn't great enough that they sent me a set of their uber cool note cards for free back when they were newly introduced, I scored another secret offer to take advantage of a book of their cool new stickers.
This new product from MOO was actually introduced back around mid July so I'm a bit late to the party because of the eternity that is the mail service from London to here, but they've arrived and they are super neato!

They're about 3/4" square, and I think they'll work perfectly for an envelope seal or just for some general sticker naughtiness.
You make them in the same way as the other MOO products, using photos from Flickr or other hosting sites or uploading the images direct from your machine to MOO. They come 90 to a pack, six to each perforated sheet. Once again, YAY for MOO!!

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